Hello lovely people,
This book has been pretty big in the blogosphere (and the internet in general) and I fear I might be a tad behind the times with this review, but I wanted to pop a post up anyway because I really loved it. At the very least, I’ll be contributing to the massive online love-fest for all things Swedish!
In case you haven’t guessed yet, the book in question is The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Bit of a mouthful of a title, but it does introduce the book perfectly. It’s a pretty nice plot synopsis on its own, to be honest!
While this may not be the best strategy for writing a book review, I don’t really want to say anything at all about the plot because half the fun of this book comes from having no idea what comes next. All I will say is that you follow the journey of the hundred-year-old man after he climbs out of the window and learn about his life in a parallel story. And it is marvellous. Not exactly realistic, but just on the right side of believable to not become entirely ridiculous.
I did find the book funny – not quite laugh-out-loud, but I had a little chuckle to myself on occasion. It took a little while for me to really get absorbed by the story and the characters, but I think that probably had a lot to do with the fact that I was reading it on the bus in fits and starts. By the halfway point, I was totally engrossed. I also thought the translation from Swedish was fantastic – I didn’t particularly notice it was a translation. If anything, it gave a great writing style that really suited the story. I found it very easy to read and follow without being boring.
I reckon my favourite thing about the book was its sheer randomness (I do quite like random connections and coincidences), closely followed by the characters’ totally unique perspectives on life. If you’re a fan of fun, readable fiction with some meat to it, I completely recommend this. I got it super-cheap in a Kindle sale, but I think it’s only about 4 quid now if you fancy a quick download. Or it’s available all over the place in old school paper form. Go for it!